I keep trying to explain to my husband that clutter and dirt are two different things. A dirty room means there is actual grime or smudges, dust or dirt. That’s easy to manage. A little cleaner, a quick vacuum and before you know it everything is fresh and pretty. Clutter? It’s not that easy.
Do you find that you can’t think straight if you’re surrounded by clutter? I do. I work from home and if I’m trying to create a blog post in the midst of a room full of toys, and kid’s cups, and other junk, I can’t focus. Clutter is sneaky and overwhelming. You might pick things up 3 times a day and then turn around to find there is stuff all over the place again.
It’s the worst.
There are three ways clutter is ruining your life. And I don’t mean to be dramatic about it, but it’s seriously affecting you. Even if you don’t know it.
Clutter is making you depressed.
I recently learned that some studies show clutter can make you depressed. Apparently, the more stuff you’re surrounded by, the more likely you are to feel depressed. (Women are anyway. It seems it doesn’t have the same effect on men.)
That’s not all. Families feel almost paralyzed when it comes to managing the clutter, which causes even more anxiety and depression. They aren’t sure how to sort things out, decide what to get rid of, or whether something is important to keep.
We’ve all been there.
Clutter is making you fat.
Chronic high stress can make it very hard to lose weight, and it can even cause you to gain weight. That feeling of drowning in “stuff?” That’s stress.
If I eat an entire chocolate cake, then I’ll live with my decision and what happens to my body. But, I’m definitely not going to be happy if I gain weight because my kids have approximately one million toys in my living room!
Clutter is killing your focus.
Imagine trying to read a book while sitting in the middle of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. You’d never be able to do it! You’d be distracted by edible flowers and trees made of gum, and Oompa Loompa shoes scattered everywhere.
Wherever you are right now as you read this, look around the room. Are there countless tchotchkes in your space? Different colors, textures, shapes?
You could probably focus better if there weren’t so many visual stimuli around.
Ok Debbie Downer, how do I fix it?
It’s all about having a plan of attack. I would never start a decluttering job without a plan. Never! You know what will happen if you do?
You’ll throw some stuff away in the dining room, and then somehow wind up in the kitchen where you’ll remember you meant to eat a sandwich earlier, and the next thing you know you’re in the middle of your bedroom staring at the floor wondering why there are piles of junk all over the house.
I have an incredibly popular 30-day de-clutter challenge that is super easy. It breaks down the major clutter areas of your home into small increments so you can be clutter-free in a month. And yeah, it’s totally free.
And make sure to grab The Declutter Workbook.
If you’re looking for something more robust, something to hold your hand and slowly walk you through step by step, this 60-day de-clutter course is incredible. It two months your life will be totally free from clutter and you will feel amazing!
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.